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The National Assembly

๐—™๐—œ๐—ก๐—”๐—ก๐—–๐—˜ ๐—•๐—œ๐—Ÿ๐—Ÿ, ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฐ ๐—ฃ๐—”๐—ฆ๐—ฆ๐—˜๐—ฆ ๐—ฆ๐—˜๐—–๐—ข๐—ก๐—— ๐—ฅ๐—˜๐—”๐——๐—œ๐—ก๐—š ๐—ฆ๐—ง๐—”๐—š๐—˜

The Finance Bill, 2024 sailed through the Second Reading stage on Thursday, June 20, 2024. This was after Members took a vote on whether the Bill should be read for a second time or not.

A total of 319 Members took the vote, with the Speaker of the National Assembly Rt. Hon. (Dr.) Moses Wetang'ula, relaying the results right after.

"The results of the Division on the Second Reading of the Finance Bill, 2024 is as follows: Ayes 204, Nayes 115, Abstentions Nil. So the Ayes have it. I now order the Bill to be Read a Second time,โ€ declared Hon. Wetang'ula.

The House commenced debate on the Bill, on Wednesday, June 19, 2024 with Members sharing their varied views on various provisions contained in the 65 clause-Bill.

While moving the Bill, Chairperson of the Finance and National Planning Committee Hon. Kuria Kimani (Molo), noted that over the past decade, Kenyaโ€™s tax revenue as a share of GDP has remained stagnant at approximately 15 percent, thereby creating the need to develop favorable tax measures to balance between relying on own resource mobilization or depending on debt.

โ€œIn comparison to other comparable African countries' tax revenue like Botswana at 24 percent, Mauritius at 18 percent, and Zambia at 17 percent, Kenya is falling behindโ€, Hon. Kimani noted.

He added that these countries have managed to achieve higher tax revenue collection rates, which highlights the need for us to reassess our tax policies and explore more effective measures that favor the business environment and enhance revenue collection.ย 

In light of this, Hon. Kuria told ย the House that the Government has embarked on a tax reform agenda through the Medium-Term Revenue Strategy (MTRS), aiming to increase the tax-to-GDP ratio to 25 percent by 2030, to ensure sustainable economic growth through improved domestic resource mobilization.

Further, he told the House that the Committee had extensively considered issues raised during the public participation, and had made a number of amendments to the original Bill, to reflect some of these concerns.

Leader of the Majority Party, Hon. Kimani Ichungโ€™wah (Kikuyu), while supporting the Bill, commended the Committee for having listened to the voice of the people and proposing amendments on the areas that Kenyans said would be detrimental to their wellbeing in terms of the cost of living. He however emphasized on the need to understand the process of enacting a law.ย 

Budget and Appropriations Committee, Chairperson, Hon. Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu) told the House that the National Treasury is looking at all the scenarios and preparing adjustments to the budget based on the outcome of the debate on the Bill.

He however cautioned Members that for the National Treasury to be able to balance the costs, there will be adjustments to the proposed Budget, that will include reductions of various allocations proposed in the budget.

โ€œIf the National Treasury will not be given the power for revenue raising measures, then a lot that was factored to be implemented in the Financial Year will be affected. The adverse repercussions will be based on the reductions that will be adduced.โ€ cautioned Hon. Nyoro.